Corona virus: What you need to know

What is Corona Virus?

According to the World Health Organization, Corona viruses are a group of viruses that cause diseases like the common cold and more severe diseases like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome(SARS-CoV). The recent outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China involves a new strain of Corona Virus (COVID-2019). This article is about the COVID-2019.

Situation Update

As of 12th March, a WHO report showed that there had been 125,048 confirmed cases globally and 4613 confirmed deaths. According to worldometer, by noon today, there had been 70, 427 cases of patients who had contracted the virus and recovered.

Signs of Infection

  • Fever
  • Dry Cough
  • Shortness of breath & breathing difficulties after about a week
  • Muscle pain or fatigue

According to a paper published by the Chinese Journal of Epidemiology on February 17:

  • 80.9% of infections are mild with flu-like symptoms and patients can recover at home
  • 13.8% of infections are severe and lead to severe diseases such as pneumonia and shortness of breath.
  • 4.7% of infections are critical and can include: respiratory failure, septic shock and multi-organ failure.

Time

In mild cases, the time from the observation of symptoms to recovery is approximately 2 weeks.

In severe cases, the time from onset of symptoms to development of severe diseases is 1 week and the time from onset of symptoms to recovery is approximately 3-6 weeks.

In cases that have led to death, the time from the onset of symptoms to death is from 2-8 weeks.

How does it spread?

COVID-2019 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets and not simply through the air. Such droplets are expelled from an infected person mainly when he or she coughs but also during exhalation. If such droplets land on a surface or object, they can be transmitted when a person touches an infected surface and makes contact with his or her eyes, nose or mouth.

Should you be worried?

According to WHO, illness due to COVID-19 is generally mild. However, it can causes serious illness. 1 in every 5 people who contract the virus need medical care.

There is no need for panic and worry. However, you should be cautious by following the preventive measures like regular hand washing and proper respiratory hygiene by you and the people surrounding you.

Treatment

Currently, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new strain of Corona Virus(2019).

Infected people should receive care to relieve and treat the symptoms.

Should you avoid shaking hands?

Respiratory viruses can be passed by shaking hands and touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Masks?

WHO recommends that you only wear a mask if you have COVID-19 symptoms or you are taking care of someone who may have COVID-19. If you are not ill or taking care of a person who is ill, you are wasting a mask.

Prevention

  • Regular hand washing. Hand washing with soap and water kills viruses on your hand.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Hands touch a lot of surfaces and may pick up the virus and transmit it to your respiratory system through contact.
  • Covering mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing with a bent elbow or tissue which should be disposed immediately. Ensure people around you do the same. This will help avoid the spread of the virus through droplets.
  • If you have respiratory symptoms like fever, coughing and difficult breathing, seek medical care early.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness. Maintain at least 1 meter distance between yourself and anyone coughing or sneezing.
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